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Saturday 24 August 2019

Touting law call as rugby tickets sell for 'unacceptable' €2.7k

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock (left) wants to prevent tickets being resold at ‘outrageous’ prices. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Fine Gael TD Noel Rock (left) wants to prevent tickets being resold at ‘outrageous’ prices. Photo: Doug O'Connor

The introduction of new laws banning ticket touting edged closer last night as tickets for Ireland's Six Nations clash with rivals England changed hands for €2,700 online.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock said laws to prevent the resale of tickets for major events at extortionate prices was long overdue.

He has railed against the use of software and online tools that buy tickets for high-demand events so touts can sell them for a substantial profit.

Under new laws proposed by the Dublin North-West TD, it would be illegal to resell tickets at prices above face value for events at venues with a capacity of more than 1,000.

The issue was debated in the Dail last night and the proposals will be backed by Fianna Fail.

"People are fed up at seeing tickets to sporting events and concerts being touted for outrageous prices," Mr Rock said.

"It's time to push on, enact this law and make sure the playing field is levelled for real fans of sport and music alike.

"The Six Nations game against England this weekend has seen tickets selling for €2,700 online. This is completely unacceptable."

Mr Rock's comments came as the GAA defended a recent decision to increase the cost of attending matches.

Apologise

GAA president John Horan said the association will not apologise for the "doing good work on the ground" in the wake of criticism for increasing prices.

He said it wants to increase revenues to help rural areas and Irish communities abroad.

Mr Horan addressed the Seanad yesterday and said a central council vote to increase ticket prices was "unanimous".

"People may want to criticise us but the decision that was made at central council was unanimous because we made the case to the people that we were raising the prices to do something with the money for our membership and the community that exists within this country, and we will not apologise for doing good work on the ground," said Mr Horan.

He said €200,000 will go to communities living abroad.

Another €500,000 will be invested in clubs at home.

"That grant to those clubs will increase employment in those areas because it will go into infrastructure programmes," he added.

"Anyone who has visited international cities where there are GAA clubs [can see] the importance of those clubs to young Irish people going overseas looking for employment, looking for contact because they are away from home for the first time, looking for outlets socially, the GAA club provides that.

"The GAA units in that part of the world have to be funded to operate and €200,000 of our increased revenue is actually going to those international units because they don't have big sponsors.

"They don't have big gate receipts and we have to help them from at home here."

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